Cluttered time with excess distraction creates a frazzled mind. So wouldn’t simple time without distraction result in peaceful minds??
Let’s un-clutter our time. Let’s get back to the basics. Let’s simplify what takes up the tick-tocks.
Fact: 83% of us don’t let an hour go by without checking our phones. Yikes. Talk about information overload. Talk about wasted time. Talk about EXCESS distraction.
Emails, Facebook notification and Smartphone alerts:
To avoid wasting time on emails I’ve done an email subscription diet, cutting off the excess that is eating up my time, even if that time consists of clicking a delete button after scanning a subject line because after all seconds add up. Since January 1st I have been dumping emails in the Spam bucket and unsubscribing from email distributions. Since I don’t plan on buying any clothing, toys, kitchen gadgets and related children items for the next 6 months I unsubscribed from all retailer emails. Any type of coupon/deal notifications I reviewed as to whether I really needed them and if I did I changed my notification emails to once a week rather than every day.
I applied the same diet to my Facebook account. I went through my personal settings and changed my notifications to the slimmest I could without completely unfollowing a company or individual. I changed what I receive emails about in regards to Facebook to “Only notifications about your account, security and privacy,” why do I need an email if I am checking my account anyhow? I cleaned up and said goodbye to companies, bloggers and “friends” that didn’t benefit my life or intelligence and un-followed and de-friended those who were unnecessarily cluttering my feed.
As a stay at home mom Smartphone alerts are un-needed. Aside from my ringer and text alerts it’s unnecessary for me to have a ping or a ding to let me know if I have received an email or a Facebook comment. Think about it, each time you get an alert you pick up your phone, light up the screen, check the alert and then mindlessly begin trolling your Facebook feed, surfing the internet or pick up a game of Candy Crush. Needless to say, pings and dings have been dismantled.
Television and the Internet (always connected, never unplugged):
So in terms of watching television I rarely get to watch anything unless it’s after 8 pm. I’m not too worried about the amount of television the kids watch and I’ve come to terms that during football season the games are constantly on. However what I am interested in changing is the amount of television that Erik and I watch when we are finally alone and having adult time. Our usual routine is to set up camp in the living room and make our way through our DVR’s programs as I fold laundry or do article prep and Erik checks work emails and filters through ESPN on his phone. I’ve also figured out that while I love our open concept living area, I do not love how the kids zone out during meal times if the television is on. So here’s the plan Stan:
*No T.V. on during meals.
*There are 7 nights to be accounted for. Prior to kids Erik and I played a lot of board/Wii games, watched a lot of movies and even did yoga together on the nights we weren’t out on the town, it’s simply time to incorporate these all again. To get back to the basics. The only way to really make this work is by planning ahead. Each week we will take a look at our schedules and make a plan to avoid excess television watching which means instead of picking up the remote we pick up a game, a movie or a yoga mat. Friday nights we have deemed Family Nights which means inventing something fun to do with the kids at home and also a movie with Braxton. This leads to the next rule:
*No phone zone. If we are going to be with one another it needs to be fully and not half ass. Half ass meaning in the same room but on a phone or a computer. We’ve tried this before and we are going after it again … the NO PHONE ZONE box. During family time, 6 pm and on, the phones go in the box. I’ve taught Brax to call both Erik and I out if our face is stuck in the soft glow of our phones. Erik and I have agreed to hold one another accountable as well.
I’m currently in the middle of trying to figure out the right schedule and set of rules that works for my computer use. Blogging makes it slightly tricky but I KNOW I need to be more aware of my time plugged in and when I need to unplug. My morning ritual for the last four years has been a cup of coffee while checking my emails, Pins, FB feed and posts before the house wakes up for thirty minutes. So I’m for sure keeping Internet time first thing in the morning. For the rest of the day, on days that I do not post on The Funny In Mommy Blog, I am allowed Mommy Internet time at 10/10:30 am, 12:30/1 pm, 4:30 pm, 7 pm and 9 pm. Yesterday I timed myself on looking through emails and mindlessly trolling Facebook at 7:33 pm. Upon finishing, the clock read 7:41. That is 9 minutes and I didn’t even answer an email or post on Facebook. Say I take 9 minutes each time I log on. That’s a total of 45 minutes added on to the 30 minutes in the morning. Final time consumed by the internet: An hour and fifteen minutes a day which equals out to 19 days per year. Do the math on your use, where are you at??? If I am using that much time I better be making sure what I am using the internet for is intentional. I also know that I use Facebook to keep connected with friends/family BUT rather than logging on to do so I’m going to take that time to either text or call a friend/family to connect.
People and “assumed” obligations:
This is simple. Simply ask yourself if there are people or “assumed” obligations in your life that are taking up time AND making you less than anything but happy??Could you be spending this time elsewhere that would be bringing joy to your life? If you do identify some of these individuals and activities, simply make the effort to remove them from your life. Yes, easier said than done but taking baby steps to freeing yourself of these time eaters will soon payoff. We must constantly remind ourselves of what simply really matters and devote our time to these people and activities. Pursuing our passions and experience life with loved ones makes our existence more meaningful. And meaning is what we want our time to be about, NOT EXCESS.